In today’s post I want to review a new game for iOS. It’s the 3rd mobile game by Nintendo, Fire Emblem Heroes. This game was released worldwide on February 2nd, 2017.
This game is a tactical RPG game, developed by Nintendo. Upon starting your game, you’ll get 2 heroes for free : Anna the Commander and Alfonse, the Prince of Askr. when playing through the adventures on the main story map, you’ll receive some orbs that can be used for summoning new heroes and other purposes.
The general structure of normal Fire Emblem titles involves a lot of role-playing style cut scenes and preparation, before going on to battle on overhead 2D maps. Heroes has to compact all that down to something more casual friendly though, and so there’s very little proper storytelling. But the preamble before a battle is still vitally important, as summoning and levelling up characters is the key to success; as is selecting the right four-person team for each fight.
In order to start a battle your characters need stamina, which is recovered at one point every five minutes. Those who don’t want to pay anything to play the game therefore risk a considerable wait between goes, which is of course a standard ploy in free-to-play mobile games. What’s also standard is that you can hurry things up by buying in-game currency (‘Prisma Orbs’ in this case) with real money.
Orbs can also be earned through playing the game, and have a variety of uses beyond just replenishing stamina. They can also be used to upgrade your castle and barracks – in order to gain more experience points – and to unlock new heroes. Although crucially you never know who you’re going to get, like buying Panini stickers or blind bag toys. Doubles are useful though, as they can be used to rapidly level up the same characters.
Once you get into a battle you find that it too has been simplified, with the map being restricted to just an 8 x 6 rectangle and armies of only four units per side. That’s much smaller scale than the traditional games, but since their battles can easily wage for a good half hour or more it’s easy to see why the change was made. As you’d expect, all the many complications of the 3DS games’ combat system are pared down or removed, but Heroes retains the central rock, paper, scissors style relationship between the unit types and who is most effective against who.
It doesn’t harm Fire Emblem Heroes a great deal, but considering the effort undertaken to add so many characters and give them all short profiles – which enthusiasts can seek out – it seems odd that the storytelling doesn’t do more to pass that rich history on to the player. The information is there for fans to find, but will inevitably pass by a lot of more casual players.
To conclude, Fire Emblem Heroes is a slick, well-presented and fun ‘lite’ take on the series. It’s heavily stripped down from the core Fire Emblem game series, and is best enjoyed in short bursts, but serves that purpose well while wrapping the experience in a stylish UI with handsome graphics and a typically lustrous soundtrack. Nevertheless it’s a limited game, and after a generous opening of playing for free the ‘pay-to-win’ element starts to take over. It’s here that many will likely shrug and move on, having had a decent fill for no investment – for completionists, however, there’s plenty of grinding (and likely some expenditure) awaiting them on the journey. I rated this game 7 out of 10, because there is still much future update potential of the game. Anyone of you guys playing this game like me? Share your thoughts about the game on the comments, okay?